The works of Michael McNutt
Michael has been assisting in settlement of investment disputes and complex arbitrations for over 20 years in the World Bank (ICSID), ICC, UNCITRAL and as well as in domestic proceedings in UK High Court, French, United States, and New Zealand courts. Michael’s extensive experience in damages assessment, cross-examination, and ability to present a concise fact-based argument to the tribunal to focus on the relevant substantive merits is well-recognized. Michael also manages most client relationships given his prior investment banking experience and entrepreneurial background where clients are concerned about the cost effectiveness of claims and their economic benefit.
Michael is a former investment banker and became vice president of a Colorado-based investment bank at the age of 23, obtaining his NASD licenses working alongside former SEC and NASD legal counsel to provide private and public financing to US listed firms such as Frontier Airlines and the firm that owned the rights to Georg Foreman Grills and Russell Hobbs electronic brand goods. Michael has worked extensively in China, Japan in the early 1990’s and then his focus shifted to Central & Eastern Europe in 1993 as those economies started privatizing their state assets to transition to market based economies. Michael has worked for both Deloitte and Ernst & Young, two of the big accounting firms, being based in Budapest, Hungary and Athens, Greece, respectively.
Michael has worked extensively throughout the former Soviet Union, Turkey, Greece, Mexico (subsequent to NAFTA), Brazil and Chile. Michael has also worked extensively in proceedings parallel and incidental to arbitration proceedings or recognition and enforcement of Awards in the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, Cyprus, New Zealand, Australia, France, Ireland, United Kingdom, across the EU, through the Caribbean nations, Africa and Nigeria in particular.
Michael has invested in a number of relevant businesses including a Cyprus-based distribution & retail company of household goods, a radio station in Hungary and the partial owner of a specialty steel producer in Romania, Noble Ventures Inc. Noble Ventures sued Romania under the US- Romanian BIT for over $250 million but was ultimately unsuccessful. That experience provided tremendous insight from a client’s perspective with his direct personal experience as he was required to not only fund the case with his partners as claimant but testified as a witness and had to personally address the fact that Noble Ventures lost its claim. Michael has been involved in other notable ICSID arbitrations, including Novera v Bulgaria, Slager v Hungary and others.
Prior to joining Benoit to restructure LLB in 2017, Michael joined Orbis Business Intelligence, a London-based intelligence consultancy, for a short period before becoming the personal advisor to Mr. Sergei Pugachev. Mr. Pugachev was involved in extensive litigation in Russia and the United Kingdom which has been widely reported on. Michael spearheaded the efforts of Mr. Pugachev for his $10 billion arbitration claim against the Russian Federation until the Spring 2017. Michael parted ways with Mr. Pugachev as did the firm LLB who was representing Mr. Pugachev in April 2017.
Michael has since April 2017 been effectively based in Paris, France and has restructured the firm with Benoit. Michael’s vision for the firm being able to provide cost effective solutions for clients in maximization of the 24-hour day is realized now with offices in Dubai, Lisbon, Paris, London and Tortola (BVI). Michael’s vision for staffing and operations is such that Client-dedicated teams work remotely primarily in countries that provide favourable tax regimes for staff where workflows can be managed by partners, regardless of location, and seamlessly process work from East to West daily. This structure allows LLB to be highly competitive in the fees charged to clients.
Michael firmly believes that LLB must be “the tip of the spear” in international arbitration and the business of arbitration must not be driven by fees, but rather to prevail in Awards and to effectively enforce those awards to ensure timely remedy for the client.
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